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Tell us about yourself out of drag (e.g. name, work & interests etc)
Out of Drag, my name is Beni and I am Global mobility consultant. Our company deals with expatriates and their families when they move to a new country. My interest are movies, Arts and music.
Describe your drag character and tell us what inspired you to become the performer you are today?
Asia is Fun, Entertaining and Engaging. I was inspired to become a drag performer because I fell in Love watching Drag performers and it just grew from there. I used to be a backup dancer for a Drag performer when I was in Singapore and someone approached me and said that I can be a solo drag performer.
How do you feel when you are dressed up in drag?
I feel empowered, I feel more confident and at the same time, I feel very HAPPY being in Drag. I once told a friend of mine, that Drag for me is Fun and brings me Joy and if I don’t feel that anymore, then it means I have to re-think if I want to continue doing Drag.
What can people expect during your performances? What should they take away from watching you?
A lot of fun! As a Drag artist, most forget that once you go on stage you are there to entertain and not just about being gorgeous! It is your role to be entertaining and to make sure that once the show ends, your viewers enjoyed the show.
Was it difficult starting out? What are the challenges that you face as a drag performer in the industry?
It was quite a challenge for me because Drag items (e.g. wigs, costumes, make-up etc) can be expensive collectively. Plus, the fact that there were established Drag performers already, so it is a cut-throat industry. You need to have good working relations so you can get more bookings.
How does your drag persona differ from your personality?
They don’t really differ much, but Asia is more confident, and she has better outfits and shoes!
How has your drag impacted who you are since starting out?
The impact of Drag in my life is enormous! Drag has become so staple in my life that I don’t know how it will be without it! Hahaha Drag now is not just about being a performer, but also about being vocal on issues we have like racism, encouraging people to vote etc.
Who are your role models and why?
In terms of Drag, one of my role models is my Drag mother. She taught me the tricks and trade-in Drag and made sure that our feet are planted firmly to the ground! In life in general, my role models are my parents.
What are some of your plans and ambitions for your drag character in the future?
I want to continue to grow and flourish my Drag career. Hopefully, I can also produce shows for People of Color performers. The ambition is also to appear in a reality TV show called RuPaul’s Drag Race UK!
What are you looking forward to the most after lockdown restrictions lift? And name 3 things you can live without.
I am sooo looking forward to seeing and (hopefully) hugging my friends and family! To be able to watch more live shows and attend gatherings.
I really can’t think of anything that I can live without, but instead, I do have realisations that lockdown has taught me:
1. Excessiveness. I used to have lots of clothes, shoes etc, but lockdown taught me that I don’t need to have a lot of things.
2. Toxic People. I did remove or unfollow a lot of accounts online that I feel are toxic.
3. Self Care. If there is one thing we all should have, this is Self-care!
Moonlight Experiences supported Christina Yang: An art student to produce work that captures some of the creatives on London streets.
Images by: @37isgood
Moonlight Experiences is led by a dedicated queer collective of diverse voices who are changing the perception of queer culture through curated activities and stories from the community. We are using the economic power of LGBTQ+ tourism to tackle the lack of QTIBPOC representation in travel. Profits go towards amplifying marginalised artists and supporting queer venues.
Find out more at www.moonlightexperiences.com
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Contact Person: Aisha Shaibu